Last 11th and 12th of December, the Marrakesh City Council, the FMDV-Global Fund for Cities’ Development and UCLG Africa (United Cities and Local Governments of Africa) chose to mobilize African local and regional authorities and their partners, under the theme Financing African Cities: agenda, alliances and solutions. 

The event brought together more than 450 participants from over 40 countries and 60 local and regional authorities and cities networks.

Mohamed Idaomar, mayor of Tetuan and President of MedCities, participated in a roundtable on Programming and managing urban investments in African cities to present the priorities and projects of the MedCities network as an example of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the Mediterranean area focused on urban planning.  The speech also focused on the need to strengthen local leadership giving mayors and local authorities greater room for maneuver to lead urban development projects.

The day before the Conference, the General Secretariat of MedCities also participated in a meeting between donors, development partners and FMDV, regarding activities targeting financing strategies for urban development in Africa. 

The event represented an opportunity for African elected officials, public and international institutions, opinion leaders, financial sector stakeholders and development partners to take stock of progress in Africa’s financial systems and engineering, share experiences, exchange best practices, and present innovative approaches to African financing for local development.

Beyond the identification of issues and constraints to finance African cities, the meeting portrayed the diversification of economic and financial mechanisms available to local authorities. Calling for innovation and creativity, the conference questioned the quality of the partnerships that have been built so far, and those to be developed between political, technical, economic and financial stakeholders.

After two days of discussions and proposals, the Declaration of Marrakesh was adopted as the new manifesto of the African development Stakeholders, that calls for the creation and implementation of the African Cities Development Fund (ACDF). The Declaration and different mechanisms, dynamics and innovations raised during the debates will be discussed during the Post 2015 New Development Agenda, and up until the United Nations’ Habitat III Summit, in 2016. Other specific meetings are mentioned in the Declaration such as Africities Summit to be held in Johannesburg in December 2015.